Disclaimer: Copyright and suchlike of all characters from Dogma belong to Kevin. Although technically, you can't own an angel or a devil. hmm... I'll have to look into that.

Afterlife: Loki Chapter 3,

Free will is a funny thing. Loki had always assumed that angels had a limited amount of free will. After his exile, he thought his lack of free will was what caused him so much pain to be separated from God. He had almost looked forward to becoming mortal. So, he'd let Bartleby cut off his wings. And after the shock wore off, the pain set in. But it had nothing to do with his now mutilated body. It was lonely. It was scary. Being fully mortal meant being cut off from God in a way he'd never imagined and all he wanted to do was get drunk and dull some of the emptiness he felt.

He'd never imagined that it could be worse.

Being murdered by your best and only friend was worse. A countless age in a river of boiling blood was a lot worse. The flesh on him returned as quickly as it was burned away so that the pain was never ending, ever as fresh as the first moment he'd been thrown into it's depths. He looked upwards, towards the surface as he writhed. In his delusion, he thought it seemed closer than before, close enough that if he could just swim upwards a few yards, he could break the surface. Struggling against pain, he put all his strength into trying to drag himself upwards. To his great surprise, it was working! He frantically strained to reach the surface, his goal coming closer and closer.

When he finally broke the surface, the sound of splashing barely reached his ears over his own maniacal laughter. He made it to the shore, coughing up the blood that made up the river's contents between chuckles. The air froze him but the pain wasn't nearly as great as it had been. He fell onto the ground and rolled onto his back. He closed his eyes, trying to think, to organize his thoughts towards getting out of Hell. But as he opened his eyes, he saw a demon standing over him, smiling.

All hope drained out of Loki.


"Have a nice swim, angel?" The demon stared with contempt, but seemed slightly amused.

Loki said nothing. He just knew he didn't want to go back to the river. A thought occurred to Loki, one he voiced aloud. He cleared his throat. "How was I able to get out of the river?" His voice sounded so strange to his own ears. It seemed harsher, more like a growl.

The demon, no longer amused, snarled, "Someone wants to see you." With that, he picked Loki up and set him on his feet. "Go."

Loki stood stunned for a moment, unsure if that was really an answer to his question. Apparently, the demon thought a moment was too long. It shoved him and repeated. "Go, you maggot!"

Loki almost stumbled but he managed to catch himself before he fell. Then he turned and hissed "You know, 'Go' is pretty fucking vague and it's not exactly like I know my way around. So how about you give me some fucking directions, shit head!"

About point five seconds after the demon had backhanded Loki was when Loki realized it's probably a bad idea to mouth off to a demon. The blow had sent him sprawling and, not being quick enough to get to his feet, the demon thought it best to drag Loki to where ever it was that this mystery person wanted to have a chat.

Loki realized that he wouldn't be going back to the river, at least not any time soon. So with a temporary bit of relief washing through him, he let himself be carried. It wasn't very comforting though. Loki's raw skin blazed with pain and the pain was more intense as it brushed against the rough skin of the demon. Loki clenched his teeth. This wasn't the river. He could deal with this. The demon flew, carrying Loki as though he weighed nothing. When the screams of the damned began to reach his ears, Loki's first thought was to cover his ears but he couldn't. The demon had a good grip on his arms. So instead, he listened, wondering how many of them he had personally sent here; dozens, hundreds, thousands...

When the demon landed they were before a set of doors flanked by guards. The demon who'd been carrying Loki set him on his feet and nodded to one of the guards. The guard nodded back and pushed a door open so they could enter. It was a sort of throne room. As Loki walked through it, towards the shadowy figure seated on the throne, a cold kind of dread seeped into him. And, where it not for the demon walking right behind him, Loki would've made for the door.

Once they were before the dais, the demon shoved Loki down onto his knees. With his head down, Loki could see that the blood that still covered him was slowly dripping onto the floor. And for the first time since he'd arrived in Hell, Loki realized he was naked. He also realized that nothing could make you feel more vulnerable than being naked in the presence of the Devil. "Leave us," said the deep commanding voice from the throne. The demon bowed and hurriedly walked out. After the door closed, the silence was deafening. Loki raised his head and gasped.

"The Morningstar..."

The figure before him, once an angel, had lost only a small portion of the radiance he'd had in heaven when Loki had last seen him. He was dressed in robes and draped over his thrown more like a drunken debaucher then the chief ruler of hell. Lucifer smiled, as if flattered by Loki's shocked staring. Loki shivered.

"It's been a long time, Loki, my brother."

Loki glared, some of his courage returning. "We stopped being brothers a long time ago."

"We're closer than you'd like to think."

Loki snorted. "I doubt it. I know I never was stupid enough to try and take the throne of Heaven."

Lucifer's face hardened and his eyes blazed with intense fury, and just as quickly as it had come, it was gone, replaced again by his grinning. "If I were you, I would lose that haughty attitude!" He leaned forward and threw an arm out in gesture. "Look where you are! Where have you spent the last decade?" He lowered his voice, and in smooth tones he said "When we were cast from heaven, the renegades, it took us nine days to fall to hell... It just took you a bit longer."

Loki stood defiantly, "That was different! Whatever I am now is what He made me!"

Lucifer slumped back against the arm of his throne and sighed, closing his eyes. When he again opened them, Loki was shocked by the look of compassion they carried. "I know," he spoke in a whisper. "Don't you think, that of all souls in existence, that the fallen could understand that? It's why I had you taken from the river. You belong with us, Loki."

Loki could feel himself shaking, "What do you want from me?"

Lucifer stood gracefully and began to pace before his throne. "I want you with us. I could use a demon with your talent. I've seen you work before Loki. You were always good at what you did. My son can testify to that."

"Your son?"

Lucifer stopped pacing and smiled at Loki. "Yes, my son Death. You've made a lot of work for him over the centuries." He walked up to Loki and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Think of what we could accomplish together, my brother!"

Loki thought on this a moment. "If you're such a big fan why did I even get sent to the river?"

Lucifer shrugged, his arm dropping back against his side. "I have my pride, Loki. You realize that you almost unmade all of creation. It makes me look bad."

"And what would I have to do?"

Lucifer's grin widened. "That's the best part! Anything you want! I can give you power. I can send you back into the world to do whatever you wish; punish the wicked, wreak havoc, get revenge, anything. You'd be Loki, the father of strife."

At the word revenge Loki's mind turned toward Bartleby. "There's only one person I want to punish. And there's a good chance he's already here."

Lucifer's face lost it's grin. "You mean Bartleby, the Grigori? I'm afraid not."

Loki's jaw dropped. "What? But I was told he was dead!"

Lucifer nodded. "Yes, killed by the Almighty. As soon as He showed up, Bartleby broke to his knees, begged forgiveness, and wept like a woman. He's been in Purgatory ever since."

Loki stood there stunned, hatred clawing below the surface of his skin. When he'd been in the river, his only sense of revenge came from knowing that his murderer was burning in Hell along with him, cold comfort though it was. Only to find that now he'd spent years in Hell and Bartleby had escaped punishment.... God had no sense of Justice. He was beginning to understand why the angels had become renegade to begin with.

"And what if I don't want this job?" Loki asked

Lucifer's eyes turned cold, "Then I send you back to the Phlegethon and I'll let you burn for all eternity. But consider this, inflicting suffering on the deserving is a lot easier than taking suffering onto yourself."

Loki thought about this. Should he turn his back on God? Maybe God had already turned His back on Loki. If he went back to suffering in the river Phlegethon, he'd be there for all eternity, for something that wasn't his fault. He looked at Lucifer's expectant face. But if he agreed...

A feral grin spread across Loki's face. "When do I start?"

Lucifer titled his head back and laughed, golden curls dancing about his face. "You can start as soon as you're ready, Loki, mischief-maker."

The End.

Author's note: Wow, bet nobody saw that comming! hehe And yes, I thought it would be neat to tie this story into norse mythology. And if anyone's wondering if this Loki might be too much of a simple creature to be a cunning Aesir then go back and watch Loki's reveal. I think it would take more than a simple creature to get a nun to leave the faith. Keep an eye out for my next story "Afterlife: Bartleby" Thanks for reading!